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Market environment and business development

The performance of the Metal Engineering Division in 2014/15 was at a very good and constant level, thus seamlessly continuing the successful previous years. A major pillar of the division was once again the railway infrastructure sector, where demand in Europe in the year under review increased considerably after years when only minor investment to maintain infrastructure had been made. Both the Turnout Systems and the Rail Technology business segments profited from this development, with the Rail Technology business segment shifting more of its business activity to the European continent now that a number of major international projects had been successfully completed. Particularly the good order level for head-hardened premium rails, which has already ensured full capacity utilization for practically the entire 2015 calendar year, enables the production facilities to transition from three-shift to four-shift operations for the entire business year. Outside of Europe, demand was driven by infrastructure projects in the heavy-haul transport sector, especially in South Africa and Australia.

The Turnout Systems business segment can look back on the most successful business year in its history, which is solid proof for its outstanding competitive position internationally. The development in the business year 2014/15 was driven by a revival of the European market and, concurrently, continuing strong demand from overseas markets in North America, Australia, and Asia; particularly dynamic project activity in China and the upward economic trend in India should be highlighted. With the acquisition of the Australian company Bathurst Rail Fabrication Centre in the third quarter of 2014/15 (see Chapter “Acquisitions”), the Turnout Systems business segment expanded its leading position in Australia, which is a particularly important market for heavy-haul transport.

The Wire Technology business segment, which manufactures quality wire particularly for the automotive supply industry, utilized the solid automobile market and can thus report a very satisfactory performance for the year under review. The drawn wire segment, which is partially dependent on the oil and natural gas industries, faced a softening of demand during the business year due to the falling oil price. Greater customer diversification and an enhancement of the product portfolio in the drawn wire segment were the reasons for the acquisition of the Italian company Trafilerie Industriali S.p.A. in the third quarter of 2014/15 (see Chapter “Acquisitions”); this acquisition was intended to increasingly counter potential weakening of individual customer segments.

Despite the massive drop in the oil price beginning in the fall of 2014, the Seamless Tube business segment was able to have 100% capacity utilization in its facilities throughout the entire business year 2014/15. Due to the low oil price, the number of drilling locations in the USA was halved within just a few months, while the price decline has thus far shown hardly any effect on the oil production volume in the Middle East. Overall, the number of incoming orders again declined in the fourth quarter of 2014/15: this will make it necessary to adjust capacity in the seamless tube plant in Kindberg, Austria, in 2015/16.

In the business year 2014/15, the Welding Technology business segment faced weak demand in Europe, particularly from the mechanical engineering and plant engineering sectors. The economic environment in Brazil continued to be difficult, while the development in China, Southeast Asia, India, and North America was considerably more robust. An overall positive development for the business year 2015/16 can be anticipated due to the improving industrial performance in Germany and the implementation of the cost and efficiency optimization programs in the business segment.

About voestalpine

The voestalpine Group is a steel-based technology and capital goods group that operates worldwide. With its top-quality products, the Group is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe and to the oil and gas industries worldwide.


50 Countries on all 5 continents
500 Group companies and locations
48,100 Employees worldwide

Earnings FY 2014/15

€ 11.2 Billion


€ 1.5 Billion


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